Gaius Publius: Could Endorsing Clinton Hurt Down-Ticket Democrats? Polling Says Yes.

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By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article here

Is it possible that Clinton-endorsing superdelegates and other Democrats could be hurt in the general election by that endorsement? Current polling seems to suggest as much. From the Wall Street Journal (subscription or login required):

Hillary Clinton’s Negatives Complicate Ties Down the Ballot
Polling suggests a risk for Democratic candidates who endorse the presumptive nominee

… An offshoot of Mrs. Clinton’s low favorability rating is that candidates who tie themselves to her risk alienating voters they need to win, polling shows.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey last month asked whether people would be more inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate who endorsed Mrs. Clinton’s presidential bid. Some 32% said they would be less likely to vote for that candidate, while only 15% said they would be more inclined. More than half said the endorsement wouldn’t matter either way.

In a dozen battleground states—including North Carolina—voters by a 13-point margin would be less inclined to vote for candidates who endorse Mrs. Clinton, the Journal/NBC poll showed. Among independent voters, just 4% said they would be more apt to vote for candidates who support Mrs. Clinton, while 38% would be less inclined. …

To put that plainly, according to the article the polling question was: Would you be “more inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate who endorsed Mrs. Clinton’s presidential bid?”

Among voters in general: 

  • Yes: 15%
  • No: 32%

Among independent voters:

  • Yes: 4%
  • No: 38%

Let that sink in. There are more “independent” voters than registered Democrats, and there are a lot of Clinton-endorsing super-delegates, with many up for election.

I’ll bet Sherrod “I trust Clinton on trade” Brown is glad he’s not up this year. (He is up in 2018 though, just in time for his 2016 “I trust Clinton on trade” comment to look just as good as Clinton’s 2003 “I trust Bush to want peace” comment as she cast her critical pro-war Iraq vote.)

I really do feel for the lock-step Democratic Party. They may be going down hard. It may not be pretty, but apparently no one can stop them, like no one can stop the meth-addled kid from burning out the lab with his stoned self inside. Unlike the lemmings at the top of this piece, I don’t think there’s a party (or a Party) at the base of the cliff when our Democratic lemmings hit the surface of the sea and start heading under. Domage.

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  1. lph

    Voted gladly for E. Warren for Senator in ’12. Will not do so again in ’18 since her sycophantic support of HRC.
    Will not vote for any Dems in 2016 who vocally support HRC.
    I was an independent my whole life, but in June registered Green.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Same here, and I’m in Barbara Lee’s CA district. Not that it will make a difference, but at least she won’t be getting my vote ever again. That’s how fed up I am with her and the party.

    2. Mass Independent

      I also voted for Warren, and will not do so again. I tweeted her, “you put ambition above integrity, and lost my respect and vote.”

      1. lambert strethetr

        Trump seems to be destroying the Republican Party. That’s a good thing.

        The political class seems to destroying itself. That’s even better!

  2. allan

    The lemmings Empire (and its media puppets) Strikes Back:

    Sanders’ Influence Fades Ahead of Clinton Endorsement [Bloomberg]

    The Vermont senator is squandering his chance to reshape the Democratic Party.

    … Sanders’s contemporaries in Congress include major liberal legislators whose careers produced landmark reforms: Frank (the Dodd-Frank financial reforms) and former California Representatives George Miller (No Child Left Behind) and Henry Waxman (the Clean Air Act, the Affordable Care Act) among them. In their personal politics, each inhabited a space with Sanders along the left wing of the Democratic Party….

    No, really.

    1. JohnnyGL

      If only I had a dollar for every funeral the media held for Sanders’ campaign, his supposed influence, and his potential to construct a movement.

      If he’s SOOOO unimportant, why do they keep sweating his endorsement and booing him? Why does Clinton feel the need to keep talking left on things like in-state college tuition (we know she won’t really MOVE left unless forced). He and his supporters are playing the long game. They’ll win because 3rd way Dems and Repubs are hated by the American people and they relentlessly create their own opposition.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Bernie has been underestimated for decades. And look at him. He just keeps rolling along.

      2. ChrisPacific

        I do think it’s amusing how many rehashes we get of basically the same story: Bernie has achieved unprecedented success due to not playing by the rules, and that’s why it’s vital that he play by the rules now.

    2. different clue

      It would be nice if Sanders had a place and a way to say: I thank Bloomberg for their concerrRRRrrrrn.

  3. Pat

    They aren’t worried. Remember the left, aka traditional Democratic voters, have no where else to go. H/T Rahm. And those “independents” were never going to vote for a Democratic candidate anyway.
    Losing will be blamed on Bernie not their embrace of a deeply disliked, distrusted and heavily flawed candidate unwanted by the voters by most. Still it is the only way any of those in that bubble may get that business is no longer usual.

    1. Vatch

      Remember the left, aka traditional Democratic voters, have no where else to go. H/T Rahm.

      I realize you’re describing the attitude of the establishment Democrats, and not your own views. Still, we need to remind people that the left can go Green:

      1. different clue

        Or the left can go Trump, if Sic Semper Clintonis really is priority number one.

          1. hunkerdown

            Or write in, etc. Point is, it’d be better if we mostly all acted in concert.

            1. Pat

              While I would like the in concert thing, I don’t really care if they act in concert. I just want them to vote with their feet. They can stay home as Lambert says, but that has been happening pretty equally in both parties and they are fine with it. If former Democratic voters don’t leave, but vote Republican or third party or write in, they are clearly still voting AND there is no avoiding the conclusion they are rejecting the Democratic “you have no choice so suck it up” candidate of establishment choice. They do that in enough numbers and Democrats lose with or without concert, since with few exceptions it wouldn’t even take ten percent of the vote to kill their chances.

              Now I can hear people say that Democrats don’t care if they lose. And they sure as hell don’t want more people to vote. But here’s the thing, if they lose too much they become as useless to the oligarchs as the greens or the libertarians are considered. And they won’t get the lobbying gigs, the consulting gigs, and there sure as hell won’t be the money for multiple PACs and numerous useless toadies as there currently is in the Clinton campaign. And no matter what little else we can point to as differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, the Democrats for the most part don’t give a damn about policy, many Republicans still do – repugnant as most of that policy usually is. The Dems are all about the money and the perks anymore as the Clinton have built the party in their own image with very few exceptions left. They need to win a few important races.

              Winning primary campaigns against them is a much faster way to instill the fear of Eisenhower Democrats or even Kennedy Democrats in people now running as Democrats and supported by the Clinton/Schumer crowd. But even the slow 2X4 of finding out that if their primary choice loses those traditional Democrats WILL tell the establishment choices to suck it if they don’t adopt and support, really support the policies of the left.

            2. different clue

              Well, since every little subtribe of the left will demand that all the other subtribes follow its own little subtribal concert, all the little subtribes of the left will spend time and energy arguing and armwrestling over which little subtribe’s solution every other little subtribe of the left will be forced to act in concert with.

              And since no little subtribe will be strong enough to force any other subtribe to submit to its will, a lot of time and energy will be wasted. But that kind of behavior is a basic psychological DNA root-feature of the Identity Left.

              1. Patricia

                Damn, I hope we stop that soon. I’d love to see us become courageous and generous enough to reach all the way to Trump supporters.

                1. different clue

                  The way to stop that is for every little subtribe of the left to respect every other little subtribe’s perfect right to pursue its own theory-model-based projects and approaches. And not spend any energy or concern trying to recruit anyone from any of the other subtribes. And every little subtribe can be its own free-standing theory-action group and they can all meet ( through representatives perhaps) to compare notes and see what seems to be working and what doesn’t.

          2. Vatch

            Millions of people already have been staying home on election days for many years. That may cause change in some countries, but it has been completely ineffective in the U.S.

    1. WorldBLee

      A Republican Congress will be filled with people of her ideological persuasion, so she should like that just fine. From her perspective, much better than those nasty peaceniks, do-gooders, and such. The Goldwater Girl may even be able to get us into a scrap with Russia in Eastern Europe, wouldn’t that be fun!

      1. Russell

        Chris Hedges seemed to say Clintons or Trump were all to produce the same result. Not even Chomsky will go there saying the environment matters.
        There is no utopia except for some of the lucky.
        System failure.
        Ice in Antarctic is melting. Ocean will rise.
        Democracy is delicate is what James said. You might make independent plans.
        I am sorry I am late too.
        Sanders is to be thanked for trying so hard.

    2. Fiver

      Exactly. The purported Obama/Republican ‘grid-lock’ delivered the biggest gusher of easy money and influence to all the usual suspects in all of history – it was the Clinton Method, after all.

  4. Epsitrophy

    This is not surprising. If they are worried now, wait until 3 or 4 months of HRC’s and WJC’s alleged criminal history is reviewed in books, documentaries, articles, interviews, etc. Then there is the issue of returning to the White House a first lady (gentleman) who was impeached and left office in a cloud of disgrace.

    It just defies logic that HRC could be nominated by the DNC, but if so, the democratic party may cease to exist after this election …

      1. Epistrophy

        I’m not a red or blue, Coke or Pepsi type person – just sound, honest and transparent governance, that’s all.

      2. sgt_doom


        To real liberals and progressives, the democratic party disappeared a long, long time ago.

        Around 1963 to 1968, I believe.

        When JFK and MLK stood up to the bankers.

        Before the rest of those White House occupiers gave up everything to the bankers.

        1. apber

          It’s not just the White House occupiers; how about the bought-and-paid for 535 and Scotus? I’m sure we will discover that each member of Congress that voted for the corporatist trade agreements received $20mil in their Cayman accounts. Just look at the state by state bribes to get Obamacare passed. The tortuous Roberts decision that Obamacare was a tax and the Commerce Clause didn’t apply, when it was clear that it did.
          The banker end game, as it has been for centuries, is to destroy the middle class, because without a strong middle class there would be no push back against the destroyers of democracy. I have seen the future; serfdom under totalitarian control.

      3. Fiver

        We don’t know how many people in total there are in a position to make it so (just one honest insider, please) but one person we know who could make it so is Bernie Sanders. If he is as principled a man as I want to believe, he could either announce a boycott of the convention with a press conference wherein he lays out the evident and truthful case that US democracy just confirmed it suffers a profound crisis of legitimacy, one in which he will not take further part, or deliver that speech at the Convention itself. I think the former more honest, if less dramatic.

        I am honestly stunned at the non-reaction of tens of millions of Sanders supporters along with concerned citizens generally who know for certain they’ve just been royally done over, but appear for all intents and purposes to have been neutered entirely along the way. Sanders still could, if he wanted, have a million people on their way to Washington to protest with 24 hours notice. Surely progressives must finally admit the Rove/Clinton reality-making machine operates at warp speed relative to ‘grass roots’ and that shock is a favourite tool in the kit. Well, time to legitimately, legally return the favour and sink the Clinton ship in harbour before it acquires all the firepower of Ship of State.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      the democratic party may cease to exist after this election …

      To which I say, “Here’s hoping!”

      If the Democratic Party had winning elections up and down the ticket as its highest goal, the leadership would have a heart-to-heart with Hillary and advise her that, unfortunately, she has so tragically compromised herself that it is now imperative that she pull out. She was counting on being exonerated if she were not indicted; unfortunately, Comey’s explanation does more to keep those issues in turmoil than to resolve them. This is not going away; it is going to fester.

      Absent forthright, competent, organizational housekeeping, the DNC needs to cease to exist.

      1. WorldBLee

        But where would the FIRE sector send its contributions then?

        But I agree with you completely.

      2. Code Name D

        But we know this was never about the good of the party or even the good of the nation. The Democratic Party now serves only one person and all else can and shall be sacrificed for that end. The Democratic Party is Dead.

  5. petal

    I’m an unaffiliated in NH, and I have been keeping a list of those endorsing her- even down to the local level. I will make sure come primary time and in November to make it to the poll to pay them all back for this.

    1. Pirmann

      Stay tuned, buddy, cause apparently Bernie will be donning an I’m with Her button just in time to campaign with Hillary up there in NH.

      He was on Hardball last night discussing the fact that his team is meeting with Hers to work out an endorsement. We can all guess where that’s headed. Yes, even after Bill’s meeting with Lo Lynch, the privileged avoidance of prosecution, etc.

      Yesterday I compared Bernie to Marco Rubio, but today I have to take that one back. Rubio is planning to skip the Republican convention. Bernie is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton. Principles on one hand, selling out on the other.

      The booing must have really hurt his feelings.

      1. John Wright

        If Bernie wants to preserve his power with his base, he should suggest that the independent minded people supporting him will make up their own minds in this election.

        So, a Bernie endorsement of Clinton will be ignored by his base, anyway, as they make their presidential choice (Dem, Repub, Green, LIbertarian) given that their first choice (Sanders) is not an option..

        He will not insult his base by making ANY endorsement and only endorse “independent thinking”..

        Then he can say, I’ll probably vote for Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee.

        Then he can close by handing out bumper stickers “Holding my nose and voting for Hillary”

        1. Barmitt O'Bamney

          He has relevance only so long as he’s the leader of his progressive move. The day he announces he’s following the flying reptile (ht Jim Kunstler) Bernie is no longer the leader of anything and goes back to being an obsolete obscurity out the Green Hills of Nowhere. Savor your last few hours of daylight, Bernie.

      2. Adamski

        I agree with him though because if he does not endorse her he will be blamed for a Trump presidency. Then no lessons will be learned. If he does endorse her and she loses then he can plead innocence. He might even be back in 2020. Same if she wins then turns right he can primary her after she has alienated everyone in hee first term.

        1. different clue

          He’ll be too old for that by then. But Tulsi Gabbard won’t be too old. She will still be young, tanned, rested and ready.

          1. cwaltz

            Nina Turner is another young and interesting character to watch.

            Two really good female candidates to anxiously look forward too that wouldn’t taint the idea of the first female President.

            1. different clue

              Clinton will get that idea good and tainted for some time to come if she wins the election.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        “Working out an endorsement” between the two of them is like the Paris Peace talks. They literally argued over the shape of the negotiating table for years. Given what Sanders’ staffer said, (super conditional, something like “We are working on a process to get to an endorsement”), I doubt this will be ready before when he is formally obligated to do something along those lines, at the convention.

        1. Epistrophy

          My opinion of Sanders is that he will compromise the principles he espouses. I remember the “enough of the emails” speech during the Democratic debates. But more tellingly, wasn’t his vote the crucial one on the $800 billion TARP programme? From memory I recall the press reporting that he changed his position at the crucial moment of the final vote – which led to its passage. It would not shock me to see him throw his full endorsement behind HRC if she is nominated.

          1. Vatch

            He voted against the TARP bank bailout. He did vote for a much smaller bailout of the auto industry.

            1. Epistrophy

              Yes I see that my memory was incorrect — he did vote against the TARP and for very good reasons.

          2. cwaltz

            I suspect Sanders is light on foreign policy and national security issues and basically bought the Democratic Party line that the emails were a witch hunt. I doubt he thought she was willfully ignoring protocol or dodging FOIA when he made that statement.

            I’ll bet he regrets that he made that statement since it actually turns out this is something that is a good case against her and goes to her trustworthiness.

            1. aab

              That may be true, but I also think he made a decision to focus like a laser on policy, knowing he’d get little media time (although probably not HOW little), knowing that Clinton was salivating to do her Victim Dance, and possibly being directly told by Obama she wasn’t going to be indicted. I believe he did the right thing. He changed the conversation in a lot of hearts and minds, if not in the media and ruling elite. Nothing he could have said or done would have changed what Obama/Lynch/Comey did. I don’t believe a single person currently aligned with Clinton would be less so if Bernie had been railing about the server all this time.

              He won the primary. Let’s be real here. She had to steal to “win.” Her stealing capacity is what it is. Bernie’s campaigning decisions could not have overcome it. He was invited to the Vatican before New York, and New York media refused to report it honestly. I just don’t see how his campaigning decisions could have made any difference.

              He’s to my right on foreign policy, although given his past positions, I can’t tell whether he has really moved right, or figures that’s not the leftist hill he’s going to die on in the current climate.

              I suspect Yves is right about the stalling tactics on the endorsement. I hope so. And then I hope it’s on par with his ’92 endorsement of Bill, although how he could get away with delivering it on TV, I can’t imagine. I know Brown pulled something off at the ’92 convention, but that’s exactly why I would assume the Clintons would be on guard against it.

              1. Fiver

                Absolutely disagree – Sanders could have taken her down. Still could, if went for it. If he genuinely believed a ‘political revolution’ was vitally needed to occur in the US, and there’s no doubt that it is, he cannot lend legitimacy to what just transpired and there is no promise from Clinton worth the trade – even on the unlikely assumption she kept it. If, as Lambert suggests, he gets Chair of the Budget Committee, I’d have to wonder if the entire exercise was essentially a scam, i.e., Obama worked with Sanders and Clinton and Trump to provide Matrix democracy. Running a giant simulation to gauge how much money should be re-directed from one region of Empire to another.

                1. aab

                  He has done nothing to warrant this degree of cynicism and hostility. I understand being deeply suspicious generally, given what has been occurring. But he hasn’t endorsed, he continues to speak to the issues, and for God’s sake — he’s an old man! Do you really think he just subjected himself to what he has over the past year so he could get Chair of the Budget committee? You know, what he was already in line to get?

                  She did not want this. She wanted him out by March 15th. You think he enjoying watching Lewis slime him and praise the racist Clintons? Come on.

                  He cannot “take her down” on his own. What do you mean by that? I’m not sure there’s any way structurally now for him to run on enough ballots via the Greens or any other way to actually get to 270 — bearing in mind that he’d need to win by dominating amounts in any states where her donors own the voting machines — like Soros’ Diebold machines. He’s not King Arthur or Jesus. He’s a person. If the superdelegates are determined to obey her, he has no mechanism to force them to do otherwise.

                  I agree with you about the problem of lending legitimacy to this repulsive display of criminality and corruption. But at least wait to see what he does before castigating him, and cut him a little slack. He is not responsible for this horror. He’s been victimized as well. And not being Dumbledore, he probably can’t do anything magical to fix it all for us. Yes, I’d like to see him walk out of the convention hall and join with the protesters in turning their back on the building and the party. Maybe he will. If he doesn’t do something that dramatic, it doesn’t make him a terrible sell-out. We can still turn our backs on the party, literally and figuratively. Yes, there are weaker souls who would follow him but will otherwise crawl back to Team Blue. But stopping her can happen regardless of any flamboyant gestures he might make.

                  1. Fiver

                    Just plain wrong. Sanders could’ve calmly, legitimately, justifiably, reasonably absolutely pasted her and forced her out. If you believe that a Clinton Presidency will not prove calamitous, then say so. I am entirely convinced otherwise and the proof that I am justified in that belief could not have been more clearly demonstrated. We are talking about an individual and party apparatus for whom there are no limits on misconduct. If ‘progressives’ fail again to find the courage to draw the line somewhere in front of them, it will forever be drawn behind them by Power. You don’t call for a ‘political revolution in this country’ if what you really meant is ‘by defeating Trump’. It’s exactly when it’s tough that being ‘principled’ counts.

      4. Lambert Strether

        He promised he would endorse her. Did you think he was lying?

        So far as I can tell, Sanders is extracting as many concessions as he can; college debt, for example, and when Clinton did that he moved the goalposts and said, “Now oppose TPP.” And he hasn’t given up his list (which is my red line).

        Sanders isn’t looking for perfection; he’s looking for advantage. 45% of the Democrat vote from a standing start, a whole new funding model, dragging the Overton Window left on any number of issues. That’s not bad for a 72-year-old Socialist with no public presence until a year ago.

        Frankly, the whinging on all this amazes and appalls me. I don’t mind chewing Sanders’ ankles on policy, but the general sneering attitude exemplified in comments like this strikes me as self-indulgent and defeatist.

        1. Roger Smith

          I agree but have one hypothetical question: Why does he “have” to endorse her? Couldn’t he just as easily say, “you know what, I am sorry but I cannot endorse someone like Sec. Clinton, etc.. etc… I think that is generally what these individuals want from him–to stay the course of integrity.

          In a way it is an impossible position for him (as it is with the voting public) as he doesn’t want to help Trump, but that means helping Clinton. In terms of staying power of a left movement, I think it still needs that example of a good “leader” (as in person in a higher government position) who wants to help do the right things. I feel endorsing Clinton would greatly weaken the resolve of such a movement as many people will revert back to general apathy/anger, as these comments today suggest.

          1. Pirmann

            Exactly. Stay the course, like any human being that believes in the words that come out of their own mouth would do.

            And which the Republicans have had zero trouble doing in regard to Trump.

          2. optimader

            He doesn’t.

            At the convention:
            …. In the full breadth of my current understanding of HRC’s unconstitutional, immoral, and illegal but unindicted activities– I cannot in good conscience endorse her candidacy for POTUS. Thank-you very much for your support and understanding in this difficult decision.

            With all the toxic water under the Clinton bridge, I say hogwash that Sanders is somehow ethically bound to follow through with an endorsement at the DNC charade..

            On the subject of “fidelity to one’s word” —-one word: Obama..

            Who in their wildest dreams expects HRC to honor ANY candidacy platform items that she may think benefit her election that are inconsistent with the totality of her record??

            Still feel Sanders is ethically bound to provide an endorsement? How about:

            As a man of my word I hereby endorse teh candidacy of HRC to anyone that in clear conscience wants to vote for a liar, war monger, serial unindicted felon, because you were going to vote for her anyway .Thank-you very much for your support and understanding in this not too difficult decision.

          3. different clue

            Well . . . he promised he would if he didn’t get nominated himself. And it looks like he won’t. So he believes a promise is a promise. That level of honor is rare in politics. But those are his words, and he believes them just like people say he should “believe in his words”.

            The problem is, is that there are people who want “him” to believe in “their” words. They were expecting Sanders to give them purity validation for their purity purism, and when he doesn’t give them the personal purity feelgood validation they feel entitled to receive, they will feel betrayed. They will feel “let down by” Sanders. In fact, they will have been “let down by” their own expectations vs. reality mismatch.

            I won’t feel betrayed by Sanders’s eventual endorsement for Hillary. I will just very coolly and maturely feel not-bound by it, and feel just as free as otherwise to vote against Clinton one way or another.

            1. Roger Smith

              Honor like a dog honors his master? An endorsement of an abuser isn’t really honorable. I definitely understand both sides, but I do not think that obedient honor is better than moral integrity. A statement needs to be made. Democrats always get the roll over and people are tired of doing tricks for free. I do not expect him to be perfect or pure either, which is why I think this is the perfect time for him to “lie”. Lie for the people, something politicians never do. He would have lied so he could compete as fairly as possible.

              Between the two options, if he wants his movement to remain strong, I think he needs to stay the principled/moral course of integrity and make a last stand (a sort of defiance that can echo through history–something to keep people going when that central figure is gone). I do not agree with central figures being worshiped either, but our behavior is currently largely based on that relation/dynamic (thanks Abrahamic religions). It cannot just be taken away and then expect people to do the rational thing (staying their own course). As we said they will feel betrayed and they will be let down. They need that connection to the body they feel that are isolated from. Bernie in this case is the conduit where they need one. Otherwise, who the hell can they turn to in vibrantly well displayed, corrupt political system (run for office as a democrat?)? And to a certain extent I agree with that.

              There is more going on at this moment that I fear he is not considering. However this is all speculation and we will just have to see what happens. He could possibly recover from an endorsement blow too.

              Beyond that, I am not even sure we can change our present course (downward, spiraling the drain). Outside of Bernie, everything else happening fits the pattern extremely well. It is logical that Trump and Clinton are the candidates.

              1. Patricia

                “A statement needs to be made.” Bernie never quits making statements. For voices, there are people like Turner, Gabbard, Teachout, etc, and more will appear if we take up our tasks.

                I am supposing Sanders intends to go back to his senate job, and has plans. Why should he burn down what he’s spent his life building as an Independent? It’s our turn now. We will need him there.

                Leftists have almost no connection to the gov’t except through the corruption that is the Dem party, and him. Until we build a movement, that is what is available, so we need to use the party as one uses a tool until we can form better avenues.

                Political parties are shabby ways to form tribes. IMO, they should never become more than an off-shoot of a larger community that is placed elsewhere.

                I agree that we are twirling the drain. We almost completely ignore the emergency that is climate chaos/change/warming. I vacillate between urgency and despair. We all need to get moving and fast.

              2. different clue

                Purity jerks gonna jerk. Purity trolls gonna troll. Purity creeps gonna creep.

                1. Roger Smith

                  Again, I would argue that “purity” in this case is keeping his word (or contract?–something I have always wondered) to Clinton. Endorsing her is only going to turn into a pony show for Clinton and her media dogs. They will parade it around saying “look what we did! We caught the pest–told ya!”, as they stomp all over his political corpse.

                  It is a move I do not think would effect individuals like the well informed and connected commetariat of NC (who have been around long before this) but to the average citizen, P.R.(not always B.S.) is useful and important, and I am afraid it won’t sit well.

        2. readerOfTeaLeaves

          Because it is campaign season, I try and keep up on Morning Joe and I just wanted to throw coffee on my screen when Kassie Hunt (?) chirped out about how ‘the Hill’ was getting antsy because Sanders had not yet kissed Hillary’s ring. And then Mike Allen, also a reporter, had the same meme in a big way.

          I thought, ‘wow, these people who have never raised $220,000,000, attracted millions of voters and supporters, have the effrontery to state that Bernie should do ‘a’ or ‘b’?!’ The snottiness of the chattering classes, and their willingness to carry water for TPTB, are just… well, at that point, I killed that browser window. Obnoxious overload!

          In my heart-of-hearts, I wish Bernie would tell TPTB that as soon as they all accomplish what he has in terms of legislation, committee work, in-depth knowledge of issues, and raising money, then — and only then — can they pontificate about what he should, or should not, do.

      5. petal

        Oh, I don’t care if he endorses her or not, that’s his deal. He said he would a long time ago. I just remember the local pols here lining up to support her over him and kept a list so I know who they are come election time and can make some educated decisions.

        1. different clue

          Aahhh yes. Quite so.

          (Even here, there are exceptions I would make. If the beloved Dingellsaurus paleocraticus were running, he would endorse Hillary because Party Discipline. He would still be an old New Dealer regardless. It is the middle aged and younger Decromats who endorse Hillary because . . . HILLary! . . . who are a real problem.)

          1. polecat

            Ha! ….’Decromats’ ……!!!

            …I’m going to remember THAT corruption of the term….as it seems rather apt, considering their, uh, decline into the dirt !!

            1. different clue

              Well . . . I prefer it because it conveys the point without using the Repuglans’s decades-own term of abuse.

  6. Hana M

    The only way out of this is the birth of a genuine Progressive party. Maybe a movement within the Democratic party is possible but the fact that Sanders was booed by the Democratic Caucus within hours of Comey’s devastating press conference shows how deeply entrenched establishment are–and how fiercely they will resist change or even challenge.

    1. Pirmann

      Of course, Bernie, supposed movement starter, could respond to the booing by announcing his departure from the Democrat party and refusing to endorse or vote for Hillary Clinton.

      But I’m not holding my breath.

      “I live for the applause, applause, applause…”
      – Lady Gaga

    2. Lambert Strether

      I disagree for a couple of reasons.

      1) “Progressive” is a term that is at best vaguely aspirational. There are conservatives (mostly Republicans) and liberals (mostly Democrats) who are both neoliberals. And there is the left, which is not neoliberal, and has no institutional voice.

      2) The left needs an entity, which is not necessarily a party. 2016 shows that the strength of left policies among voters is far stronger than (a) media entities that support the left and (b) shops that develop policies and talking points. Both (a) and (b) need to be separated from the Democrat nomenklatura. The problems of — which is to say the opportunities for — the left go far beyond parties.

      For example, parties are all about winning. That’s one reason the Greens are so dysfunctional; they have never had to be, and don’t expect to be. (That’s also a reason why giving them money and votes doesn’t necessarily make them any better; a dysfunctional non-profit doesn’t automatically get better because it gets a big grant, and may well get worse.) Nevertheless, there needs to be places for good faith lefties to go who don’t think in those terms; media and policy operations ought to provide niches, but the Democrats stand in the way. (Such an entity — I know I’m dreaming, but I’ll just keep saying it — would be funded by the Sanders list. That is the best purpose for it. “The Sanders Foundation,” you might say.

      1. Fiver

        Entity? Yes. Foundation? Surely not. The entity needs to be able to organize and direct its members effectively using mechanisms outside the electoral arena to respond to action/inaction on any major front in real time. It needs to be able and willing to tell its 10 million well-paid, skilled members to go on strike, or give Scott Walker a warm welcome in person, or launch a high-profile corporate boycott, or call for a March of Crimes every time either political party or Wall Street crony or CIA or whatever gets caught. Desperately needed now with the new Hillary Bar standard of conduct.

    3. different clue

      Booed by all of them? Or just some of them? Is it possible to view the tape or take testimony or something to identify the boo booers by name? (I’ll bet Sanders himself knows who some of them are).

      A Newer Deal movement within the Decromat Party could call itself The Real Democrats. That would be both accurate and insulting to the Decromats at the same time. A two-fer.

      1. John k

        Or ‘real progressive’, since neither democrat or republican has any specific meaning, but is just names of tribes?
        The RPP…

  7. Roger Smith

    Serves the sycophants right. They are happily giving the electorate markers to know which buttons not to hit.

  8. M.P.

    It’s soooooo nice to have a choice between a silver-spoon fabulist who’s wasted dads money, and a put-on confabulator who can’t measure UP to Goldwater, once a hero…

    think I’ll vote the Cynical Party (if no candidate, will write in Reginald van Gleason III).

  9. Katharine

    There appears to be some problem with the presentation of the results. “No” means “not more likely” which is not equivalent to “less likely” but a larger category which may also include a number of people whose vote for a candidate would be uninfluenced by that candidate’s endorsement of Clinton. Does WSJ not have anyone on staff who understands the results of WSJ’s poll? There may be a real story there, but these numbers don’t tell it.

  10. Enquiring Mind

    See Pam and Russ Martens’ article about Clinton, including comments from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. Killary just seems like plutonium to me.

  11. Dana

    Agreed. That’s basic set theory. A headline incongruent with the body of the story is more the norm than the exception these days, especially with so many people sharing stories tl;dr on the basis of headlines alone.

    IMO what’s more likely to hurt the down-ticket candidates is a Party platform that treats working people as expendable.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’ve never seen the “no respect” trope deployed in good faith. I’d bet you’d have no respect for him if he broke his word to endorse her, either.

      Do consider adding more value to the comments section than drive-bys like this one.

      1. Code Name D

        Sanders has said a great many things. He said he would fight for the issues, fight for change. He simply can not do that once he endorses Clinton. Once he endorses, he will have no power left – and no reason for Clinton to keep him politically alive.

        Sanders main problem is that he has made conflicting promises. He can not keep one, without braking the other. At the end of the day, he needs to be true to himself and allow his actions to reflect his values. What will mater is WHY he will (or will not) endorse Clinton.

        I agree that Sanders will likely endorse. He will do so because he will see no option, no alternative. Trump is the greater evil, and Clinton’s negatives are not really that important any way in that light.

        What is not understood is that many of those who followed Sanders has already outgrown and rejected the arguments of the lesser of two evils. We understand LOTE as a fallacy, used to smuggle in neo-liberalism by using Trump as a distraction. Clinton wins not of her own merits, but by default. And there will ALWAYS be a greater “evil” that we must fight first. We have always been at war with Urasiea.

        Battle not with demons, least ye become a demon your self. For as your stare onto the abyss, the abyss shall stare back.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I have to tell you, your position is utterly unreasonable. Sanders ran as a Democrat. Part of the deal was endorsing the winner of the primary process. What you are recommending is tantamount to going to a restaurant and not paying for a meal after you ordered and ate it because it really didn’t suit your taste.

      Sanders is a man of honor and lives up to his commitments. The fact that he has withheld his endorsement and won’t give it to Clinton until he is obligated to, at the convention, already has the Democratic hacks tearing their hair. They argue that his refusal is hurting her, which is accurate. The more he makes it clear that Hillary does not stand for what he stands for and his voters want, the more likely it is than his voters will go for Stein or Trump.

      He has also been saying he cannot deliver his backers like a machine politics boss, she has to win them. That is also making the hacks furious. And I don’t expect him to campaign for her as opposed to against Trump, which is also what he has basically said. And I doubt he will campaign much. It is clear Sanders has a lot of personal antipathy for her. I doubt he would go to rallies with her. He’s got an easy excuse: he’s 74, the campaign was hard, and he wants to work on down-ticket races, where the party is in trouble. So he will help real progressives, as he has started to do.

      But that isn’t good enough for you.

      He has been defiant within the rules of the game. Why you don’t see that is beyond me. These unreasonable purity tests are one reason the left is so ineffective.

      1. Roquentin

        For whatever it’s worth, this bullshit with shutting down the contributions from the Sanders people to the Democratic platform was more or less the moment I decided I was going to vote for Stein. A lot could change between now and November, but that was the last straw. It’s not like Trump will ever win NY anyways, so why not?

        Sanders is in a hard place and I won’t fault him for endorsing her. He’s already done a lot.

        1. pretzelattack

          there have been several posts claiming sanders is a sellout, and is doing it for attention. are they correcting the record?

      2. Marco

        I think Yves and Lambert are correct to a point. But for those of us who dutifully donated $$ every week (sometimes twice a week) and knowing that eventually Bernie would formally endorse her (we knew it was coming). We can accept this fact. But honestly who cares about the convention platform because that seems to be the only thing being negotiated. The biggest gut-punch is the strong possibility of Hillary getting her hands on THE LIST (any definitive news on that?) if that’s the case it’s Fukushima meltdown mode.

        1. Marco

          And another thing. They needed to simplify funding the down-ticket races. It was easy giving Bernie or Tim Canova $$ but now I get separate emails from 20 different Bernie-Crat Progressives running for congress. My point being that there does not appear to be a larger “umbrella” or “container” organization to keep the movement going. I’ll call it the stench of fragmentation.

          1. aab

            You could limit your giving to only candidates Bernie has directly emailed you about.

            There’s already a lot of manipulative crap out there. An actual con man (a real one, like the traditional, non-Clintonian type) was scamming Bernie supporters on Twitter. There’s a PAC with “Progressive” in the title that is trying to get Bernie supporters to fund it so it can bankroll conservative Democrats (a couple are recently Republican, so true Schumercrats). MoveOn and DFA are herding for Hillary now, so if they claim to be asking for donations for a “Berniecrat,” don’t believe them.

            If you have to focus, at least give to Teachout. She’s got a real shot, and it’s shameful that even after a New York Times endorsement, the DCCC won’t fund her.

        2. Watt4Bob

          You are right, THE LIST is Bernie’s, and by that I mean ‘our’ ace in the whole.

          I think anyone donating to the Sanders campaign can rightly expect their support to be respected, and that means not given over to the DNC, and HRC.

          And have you noticed that nobody is talking about that?

          1. Watt4Bob

            I mean, why isn’t Lester Holt, or Wolf Blitzer talking about it?

            We’re talking about it, but we don’t count.

      3. Watt4Bob

        Folks are also forgetting Sanders’ biggest bargaining chip, and our ace-in-the-hole, his list.

        Clinton has not only to come to an agreement so as to gain Sander’s endorsement, she, and by extension, the Democrats have to be mindful of his list.

        The very first tell, IMO, of Obama’s phony populism, was his side-lining of the massive email list produced by his campaign, i.e.; renting it to the DNC instead of leveraging it to build progressive political momentum with the help of the growing populist sentiment that his supporters represented.

        Obama betrayed his supporters faith in Hope and Change by handing their data to the DNC.

        I think we should paying much more attention to what Bernie does with his list, as opposed to his endorsement.

        1. Watt4Bob

          I’d add that Bernie’s list represents the nascent political revolution he’s been talking about.

          I don’t believe he’ll betray his supporters by handing the list to the DNC and DWS, as the president did.

      4. Fiver

        You are wrong on this one. No principled person can legitimize what just happened. Either ‘principle’ means nothing, or ‘political revolution’ means nothing, or ‘struggle’ means nothing. He cannot not know what has been invested in him – and it goes a million miles further than ‘debt-free education’ whatever grotesque fiasco that’ll get twisted into in the process a la Obamacare.

        1. lambert strether

          Sanders was clear from the beginning. Some people think keeping your word is a principle. Your mileage may vary, and apparently does.

          Personally, I’d love to see Sanders turn the deal into an out-trade but I don’t see a tactic to achieve it, given what I know.

          1. Skippy

            “given what I know.”

            And that is the crutch of it… there will be no prophets or messiah… contra to old timey stories about such…

            Disheveled Marsupial… look at Texas… the happiest place on the planet cuz cheap dog boxes on flood plains equals prosperity or personal rights…

          2. Fiver


            Please don’t try to foist the ‘gave his word’ argument on us as if we are not all fully cognizant of the fact that such an ‘oath’ cannot possibly be viewed as unconditionally binding – unless both Sanders and ‘they’ (meaning Clinton, Obama, DNC) had explicitly agreed long ago Sanders would be given the opportunity to air progressive issues, but it was understood and accepted Clinton was the nominee no matter what happened. Which of course would make his ‘in it to win’ candidacy a fraud.

            Can’t have it both ways. I see a stolen nomination, a mortal blow to the principle of the rule of law and a profound crisis of democratic legitimacy as more than ample cause for bowing out entirely with a full and factual accounting to the electorate. And I also see as surely as night follows day that Hillary Clinton will be all in vis a vis the catastrophic historical arc of the last 25 years.

    3. Fred

      At this point what an endorsement by Bernie means to HRC is for Bernie to STFU. I don’t know, maybe he will. But I doubt it. If you visit the Hillary hive mind on Twitter, you can’t help but notice the rage that the candidate that lost is trying to force the candidate that won to promise to enact the policies of the candidate that lost. So what does HRC have to promise to get Bernie to STFU?

      1. aab

        I was gang attacked yesterday on Twitter by a couple of Hillbros. Even as they tried to dance on my supposed corpse, they could not say one positive thing about Hillary, except that SHE WON, LOSER. It was odd. I should just block these idiots, but it’s not in my nature to shut down debate without demonstrable cause. They couldn’t follow logic or evidence. They couldn’t process that they had no argument, and therefore their insults meant nothing to me.

        They keep saying they don’t need Bernie voters. Perhaps they’re right — they’ll have plenty of Diebold voters, after all. But their intense desire to bully fellow citizens who are technically in their party and supposedly share EXACTLY their candidate’s positions (to hear them tell it) is…interesting.

        1. Skippy

          On a gaming platform someone has a less than politically correct spray [poster]… Hillary with a star spangled background laid out prone naked w/ a screaming facial expression and legs splayed w/ the same facial expressions of Trump morphed into her genital region…. as if it were giving birth to it or one in the same….

  12. simjam

    The Establishment Democrats would be smart to dump Hilary at the convention and throw their support to Biden. The Democrats would score a massive win in November. Of course, they won’t.

    1. Vatch

      Some of us don’t like Biden, either. He might win, but probably not by a massive margin.

      1. sgt_doom

        Not like Biden?

        The guy who helped Clarence Thomas get on the SCOTUS bench?

        The guy whose son (now deceased) cheered the outcome of the case against that pedophile member of the du Pont family (sexually assaulted 2-year-old and a 3-year-old) — giving him eight years probation, with zero jail time.

        The guy who cheated to get through grad school?

        So what exactly do you have against Mr. Corporation State, Joe Biden?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Joe is Hillary without the celebrity appeal.

      -Bankruptcy Biden
      -insane foreign policy
      -casual racism
      -Patriot Act in the it’s
      -Clarence Thomas

      Hillary really is the best establishment Dems have.

      1. optimader

        Sufficient list, but if your old enough to recall
        -Plagiarism Joe (circa 1988 POTUS campaign FAIL) By today’s standards quaint, but he’s still a retread.

          1. Optimader

            If i rexall Law School as well.. Illcheck on that.
            In any case that would all be taken off the shelf and dusted off again
            Straight up serial plagerism is not necessarily an ethics merit badge in a potus campaign

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I was just trying to focus on how Biden has directly harmed the country. He’s so much worse than plagiarism of a college paper; although, it does speak to his character.

          1. optimader

            I’m with you on that.. By todays standards a venial sin compared to say voting upon the Patriot Act , but nonetheless a good character litmus test.

            To be totally fair how many contemporary politicians write there own rhetoric? Not to say it’s acceptable to lift prose verbatim for profit.. and its all for profit in the end these days….

        2. Kurt Sperry

          I’d add batsh*t crazy drug warrior to the list too. Biden is truly awful any way you look.

      1. different clue

        Purity jerks gonna jerk. Purity trolls gonna troll. Purity creeps gonna creep.

  13. Massinissa

    I’m ok with a Hillary endorsement if he doesn’t do it until the convention. That should make it obvious enough that he doesn’t support her seriously.

    1. Lambert Strether

      And as I’ve said, if he turns his support into a poisoned chalice for Hillary I’m perfectly fine with that. Sanders could continue to make the hacks choke on their cocktail wienies by, say: (1) Continuing to give money, and endorse, down-ticket Dems the DCCC/DSCC nomenklatura is trying to make lose (for example, Zephyr Teachout) and (2) campaigning for policies he supports and they hate: For example, the Single Payer referendum in Colorado.

      Those are both certainly worth a long-delayed endorsement for which a very high price has been extracted. That won’t stop the concern trolling, of course, by either the political class or the Flounce Off Brigade on this thread, but that doesn’t change the equation.

      NOTE Adding: The list is my red line. As long as Sanders retains control of his list, he’s an independent force. The endorsement, compared to the list, is a meaningless verbal formula. I’m surprised that the Flounce Off Brigade doesn’t understand that.

      1. Pirmann

        Lam, I get what you’re saying buddy, I do, but I can’t help but juxtapose Bernie’s actions with those of the Republican Party, whose primary candidates are also held to endorsing the party’s candidate.

        I’m just saying that there are ways to endorse without really endorsing. Skip the convention. Offer an “I said I’d do this, so here goes…”

        Not go all Liddy Warren sycophant and hit the campaign trail with Her.

        You may deem it insignificant, but low information voters, which comprises a significant portion of the voting public, will take Bernie’s “I’m with Her” and deem Her trustworthy.

        Bernie’s endorsement will likely win Her the white house.

        1. hunkerdown

          Bernie could endorse her like Comey. That would be a reasonable compromise to lighting the BATNA-signal.

          1. Mass Independent

            It’s called “damning someone with faint praise”. I would love to see that endorsement. The Dems are insisting on a “full throated” endorsement. He should tell them he has damaged his old vocal cords from too many campaign rally speeches.

            I’d love to be able to give her a “full throated” endorsement at the convention : )

        2. Mass Independent

          I’ll give Bernie marks for carrying on as far as he thought he could, but really, I think without the Dem machine vote fraud and primary rigging, I think he actually won the primary, or was very close. So to capitulate now is short sighted. The Dems booing him are all paid for THUGS. Due to their behavior, I will reregister Independent, and not vote DemocRAT ever again. I have let Sen Warren, Sen Markey, and Rep Neal know that due to their corruption, they have permanently lost my vote.

          Time for a big change. Bernie could still lead it, but he is wimping out. The most important thing is NOT Trump, but the need for massive change from unending war, disastrous trade deals, and the continued servitude to the rich of the poor and middle class. Hillary will CONTINUE all these negative things. Including TPP. She is a pathological liar who cannot be trusted.

          Sanders could win as an Independent. If Clinton loses after he endorses her, the Dems will STILL blame him, because they are spineless cowards, who don’t take responsibility for their screw ups. The Dems are the reason Maine is having to live through a disastrous TeaTard governor for 8 years. They could have thrown their support to the Independent candidate in 2010 (former Carter Admin official Eliot Cutler) when their candidate was sinking fast. But no, with them, it’s all Power, Position and Perks. They did it again in 2014.

          I never regretted my votes for Ralph Nader (twice) a person of high integrity and a true public servant who did more for the American people than any Democrat POTUS except FDR and LBJ (w civil rights legislation). I did not regret my vote for Dr. Jill Stein in 2012, and will vote for her again this year. But I regretted all of my Dem votes, Kerry, Obama and Warren the Sell Out. I’ll not make a vote I regret ever again.

          1. different clue

            I’m not sure I am understanding your use of language here. When you say “the most important thing is NOT Trump” . . . do you mean that Trump is not the most important thing? Or that NOT-Trump is the most important thing?

      2. Balakirev

        The Flounce off Brigade, as you eloquently put it, won’t back off from purity tests because the Left is all about self-righteous purity, without regard to how the real world operates. And the saddest part about this for me is that I’m ideologically Left, but also realistic enough to see that politics shouldn’t be a matter of snap emotional judgements based on a petulant adherence to rigid theories.

        But to your point, I agree: Sanders will endorse Clinton, and that’s as it should be, given the rules of the game he accepted in running. As Yves put it, he doesn’t have to sign over his supporters (which he couldn’t do seriously, in any case), and he can always throw spanners in the DCCC’s establishment machinery, as you state. He can still make life hell for them, but some of that at least is predicated upon his followers understanding what he can and cannot reasonably do at this time. If they perceive his endorsement as turning him into a traitor, they’ll ignore his advice in ironically those areas where he can actually do so much good.

        Disclaimer: I voted Green in 2012, and I’ll be voting Green again this year. But I find the whole Cthullu for President movement becoming an increasingly attractive alternative, as our society spirals downward in denial and madness. Thy Hand, Great Anarch…!

        1. different clue

          The reason for not permitting the Clintonite Decromat Party to get the list is to keep the Milhous Clintonites in particular ( and the Decromats in general) from using it as a huge Enemies List.

        2. hunkerdown

          No, liberalism is about self-righteous purity. Stop calling the left by its married name. It’s a free woman now.

          1. different clue

            Look at all the purity left-o comments about Sanders betrayed me this, Sanders let me down that. Heap big plenty moral purity stuff-strutting on the left. ( Makes me glad I am not on the left).

            1. pretzelattack

              at least on this blog, i’m not sure how many of these posts are from leftists. the suggestion that sanders is doing this out of narcissism is straight out of ctr.

      3. Code Name D

        Not that simple. There is the reality of Payola. There is reason to believe that a large portion of any money raised for down ticket candidates will be siphoned off for the Clinton campaign. I have seen it happen directly when I was an activist, candidates often signing the checks themselves.

        And those who don’t never get any where in the party. They will not be signed to important or even relevant committee positions, will not be given support for their bills, will not be given floor time to speak to an empty room. Simply getting Sanders people elected is not enough.

        There is an elephant in the room being ignored here. The fact that the Democratic Party is corrupt to its core. The question must be asked, can the party even be saved?

  14. hjl

    Has anyone on this list or in this country understood just what this means to this country. Many of the above think they will vote for Clinton. And I hope look into the face of your children every day. She broke the law. and I sick and tired of the lawyering BS say she did’t. Are you all blind. We are a tin horn country with a group of very large lemmings that don’t know what from where.
    Just follow the 1. Bill meets with Lynch 2. Sunday leak Hilary might keep Lynch on a AG 3. Comey decided that he should be judge and jury ( he’s a cop) they do not make these decisions. And don’t for the Big 4 a nice ride on the $297,000 airplane known as Air Force One.
    This is not a country anymore and don’t give me the Trump junk write someone in….but please not your own name.

  15. Lambert Strether

    Bernie Sanders Is Expected to Endorse Hillary Clinton Next Week New York Times.

    However, if you look at the sourcing, it’s “three Democrats who have been involved in the planning.” It’s not anybody involved in the Sanders campaign (meaning the Sanders plans are more closely held). So, again, it’s Democrat performative speech, making things so by pronouncing them so.

    So, and again:

    1) Let’s hold our water and wait for what the Sanders campaign does;

    2) How the endorsement is operationalized matters more than the endorsement itself;

    3) Sanders promised he would endorse. None of this should come as a surprise;

    4) The key factor is not the endorsement itself, but the Sanders list.

  16. Stephen Gardner

    If Bernie endorses Hillary I will be disappointed but it will be just words. My vote will never go to Hillary.

  17. John k

    I think it is not excessive purity in this case, no matter it may have been in the past.
    Bernie is the antithesis of Hillary; he’s ethical, a gentleman, a man of his word… So he feels his past statements commit him to eventually support that crook. And he is who he is, no matter that he might have done better with some other approach.
    But her being his complete opposite is what is hard for those that supported him and his various positions to accept. And many are moving sharply to what is, for most of them, a new idea… To refuse to again swallow the lesser evil argument.
    He waits for the convention.
    He never campaigns with her.
    By far most important; aggressively campaigns for progressive candidates and ballot measures.
    He withholds his list.

    As an aside, she probably cannot really renounce Tpp, which likely would lose Obama… And maybe Doj protection.

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